Fascinating discussion points from the Regenerate Central South Conference

Published: July 9 2024

Housing, regeneration and planning were the key topics at our Regenerate Central South conference and as you can see we had an amazing array of speakers to explore the subjects.

It was apt that we gathered at the West Downs Centre at the University of Winchester Business School as the building is such an inspiring space and one of our sustainability speakers Abby Foster, Director at Ridge, explained how proud they were to have been involved in the creation of the building.

Host Mark Davy, founder of Futurecity set the tone for the day with his upbeat delivery and declared co-operation and partnership were crucial to make stuff happen.

Turning his attention to the Central South region, he said: “The Central South is big enough to be relevant but small enough to be able to have these sort of conversations.”

Dominic Curran, Head of Communications at the British Property Federation kicked off the housing session by speaking about the BPF Manifesto on housing. He gave an overview of the national picture before joining Charlie Collins, Director at Savills and Matthew Turpin, Public Affairs Lead at VIVID to discuss the local situation. Matthew has been heavily involved in the creation of Central South – A Call for Housing Change, a new document that will shortly be published.

Acclaimed author and architect Marion Baeli from 10design talked about the demand that construction places on the planet and the benefits derived from retrofit. A lively discussion with many questions from the 120+ audience members followed with contributions from the panel which included Will Purvis, Head of Communications & Marketing at Eastleigh Borough Council, Austen Toone, Lead Relationship Manager at Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), Abby Foster, Partner at Ridge, Shaun Stevens, UK General Manager at EPS Water, Fiona Gray, Director of Place & Engagement at Buckland Group and Marion Baeli. The discussion was led by led by Tim Hancock, Chair Tor & Co.

Our final session for the day was a chance to hear from Helen Fadipe, Vice President of the Royal Town Planning Institute about innovative plans they are rolling out to ease the planning process and recruitment.

The planning panel discussion was hosted by Bryony Stala, Director at Savills She was joined by Ian Maguire, Director of Economy, Transport & Planning at Portsmouth City Council, Katie Randall, Associate Director for Integrated Planning at Arup, Tom Venables, Director, at Prior & Partners and Julie Pinnock, Corporate Head of Planning & Regulatory Services at Winchester City Council.

Leigh-Sara Timberlake, Business South Group CEO, said the event illustrated the passion and vision that exists for our region.

“Our speakers ably illustrated the real desire there is to ensure the Central South UK meets its full potential, while keeping sustainability at the forefront of our activity.

“We look forward to further developing many of the ideas that were raised during the day,” she said.